Fabletics VS lululemon

Shooting fitness pics is HARD and v awkward.

I shared a brief update on Instagram stories a few weeks ago, but in January, I started a new operational job at a series of Orangetheory Fitness franchises! I’ll get more into the details of why I made a career 180 in a later post, but it’s super relevant to this one so had to mention it.

My job is very flexible and allows me the option to work both from my respective OTF studios and home, but when I’m in the studios I wear workout gear — yes, I get to wear leggings and sneakers to the office every day. It’s pretty awesome, but as someone who loves fashion and expressing myself through clothing, I knew I’d have to step up my activewear game — all black outfits everyday just weren’t going to cut it for me.

I love lululemon—their apparel is definitely designed for optimal performance and very high quality—but it gets expensive quickly. I have a handful of bottoms and a jacket from there that I wear on repeat, but knew I couldn’t be shelling out $120 for a pair of leggings every time I needed to curb my fashion cravings. I’d seen Fabletics heavily advertised on Instagram and even on TV, but when I Googled the difference between them and lulu, I couldn’t find a lot of information on how they compared. I bit the bullet and joined their “VIP club” anyways, figuring I could just return everything if I didn’t like it, but I was totally surprised and loved it all! Read on for five things you need to know about Fabletics and how they rank against lulu.

HOW IT WORKS

You can either join their VIP Club or shop directly from their site / retail stores without a membership. The VIP membership is what gets you the 2 pairs of leggings for $24 deal on your first purchase, as well as up to 50% off additional items in your first purchase. I got four pairs of leggings and a top for $120 the first time I shopped with them online!

After you join, it’s basically a monthly membership for $49.95. On the first day of each month, they’ll release “new outfits” and you can apply your $49.95 credit towards one of those or use it to purchase a la carte items.

You can cancel your membership at any time and make random purchases throughout the month outside of your $49.59 credit. Being a VIP member also gets you up to 50% off all purchases and access to their rewards program which essentially gives you points in the form of retail dollars for leaving product reviews.

AVERAGE PRICE POINTS

Based on the VIP membership pricing for Fabletics. 

Leggings

Fabletics: $44.95

lulu: $98 – $110

Tops

Fabletics: $30

lulu: $40 – $50

Sports Bras

Fabletics: $25 – $50

lulu: $50 – $70

Jackets

Fabletics: $50 – $60

lulu: $110

QUALITY

There is no arguing that lulu uses top-notch materials in their products. I wore one pair of their leggings nearly three times a week for a year and I’m still seeing no signs of pilling or loose threads. The materials they use are breathable and soft to the touch, and you can tell it’s a sweat wicking material. Depending on what type of product you’re buying, they usually have a solid compression, but sometimes I want a little more, like in their align leggings (they’re great, but sometimes I feel like they highlight my cellulite because they’re very thin.) I am ALL about compression, I try to order the highest compression in all workout leggings I can and prefer a high waist cut that comes up right my belly button because that’s where my “problem areas” are.

When I got my first Fabletics order, I was surprised at the quality of the leggings, I have the “Powerhold” high waist cut in five pairs and I’m obsessed with the compression. They’re squat proof and super sculpting and hit exactly where I want them to on the waistline. The material though feels a little funky at first, it’s not that sleek, almost shiny fabric I’m used to at lulu, it’s more cotton-y to the touch and they aren’t quite as breathable. I did just try their new trinity fabric, and while that seems more in line with what I’m used to from lulu, it has less compression. The tops I’ve tried are made out of a totally different fabric and have that buttery, almost cool to the touch feel. I just got my first sports bra and jacket in my March shipment so I’m eager to try those out.

SIZING

In general, I would say lulu runs a little small and Fabletics runs a little big. Below are my sizing breakdowns for reference.

Leggings

Fabletics: XS

lulu: 4

Tops

Fabletics: XS

lulu: 4/6 Sports

Bras

Fabletics: S

lulu 4/6

Jackets

Fabletics: XS but I sized up in my most recent purchase because it’s a cropped sweater

lulu: 4/6

WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU BUY?

I can’t even answer that question because I love both so much!

I love that Fabletics comes out with new styles every month at an affordable price point and puts together outfits for you. However, if you already have a decent amount of workout clothes or you’re only working out 2-3 times a week, a membership might be overwhelming and clutter your closet. If you live in activewear outside of work or workout 4-6 times a week, it might be a good fit!

If you are just looking to invest in solid workout attire, I’d recommend starting with lulu because their quality is unparalleled and you can go to a brick and mortar store to physically try everything on and get in-person assistance.

Let me know if you try Fabletics and what you think!

Amazon Roundup | Honeymoon Edition

I’m not going to lie, I went a little ham on my Amazon purchases for our Saint Lucia honeymoon. Since our trip was in February, I knew I’d have to resort to online shopping for warm weather clothes and I got nearly all of my new items (sans two dresses) for the honeymoon on Amazon. Luckily, my purchases turned out to be legit! I’ve gotten pretty good at ordering things from Amazon, and my top three tips boil down to this:

  1. Check the reviews — if there’s only one or two reviews, I’ll bypass an item. I take all reviews to heart and especially pay attention to the reviews that have pictures
  2. Look into the return policies — I’ve been burned before on return policies because I didn’t read the fine print. Make sure they accept returns!
  3. Only order Prime — a lot of the overseas retailers where I got the items below have pieces stored in warehouses in the US. If you don’t use Prime you could be waiting for up to a month for something.

Keep going for all the bikinis, obnoxious hats, and cover ups! For reference, I’m 5’4.5″ and weighed 109 lbs at the time these photos were taken. (I don’t like disclosing my weight but I realize it’s important when people are coming to my blog for reviews and trying to gauge sizes off of my comments and images.) 

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High-Waisted Black Bikini: okay so the black is no longer listed on the site, but I love the olive and gingham options! I ordered a small and the top fit perfectly thanks to the adjustable tie in the front, but the bottoms were far too big and were lowkey falling off the second I got in the water. I included this really awkward shot that our tour guide took so you could see how the back looks, I’m sorry. I did feel very comfortable in it since it came up so high on my stomach, but honestly I felt like the back looked a little bit like a diaper. The quality was actually really nice though, and the top has adjustable straps! I ended up pairing the top with my new favorite bottoms, below.

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Off The Shoulder Leopard Print Bikini: when I bought this swimsuit I literally texted a friend “who do I think I am?” with a picture of it, but it’s my favorite out of the whole bunch! In the link, you can see there’s a tie on the top, but it’s detachable and I thought it looked silly IRL so I didn’t wear it. I only wore the top once on the vacation, but I wore the bottoms twice and will probably wear them the rest of the summer because the fit was SO FLATTERING. I like a cheeky bottom and this was the perfect balance between being scandalous and not feeling too exposed. Since I’m not blessed up top, the top was a little harder for me to wear and it rolled down across my chest and showed the lining, but those who are more fortunate shouldn’t have a problem. I ordered a small in this.

Just Married Hat: this may be the most extra thing I bought, and it was totally impractical. I literally only wore it for pictures because it was so windy on the island that it just blew off every two minutes. That being said, it was super cute and only $15, so why the heck not.

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Crochet Cover Up: I was skeptical that I’d wear a coverup (I usually just wear jean shorts and a tank) but oh my gosh, I now know why people do. It was SO easy to throw this on while heading to the pool and I even wore it for one of our excursions. This was great quality for a crochet fabric and while it’s almost a little bit too “boho-y” for me, I really enjoyed having it on the vacation.

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Leopard Print Bikini: while this is one of my favorite swimsuits ever, I did have to order two different sizes and mix match them for it to work. I ordered both a small and medium last summer and of course, the small top fit (you can tell it’s a little too big in the pizza picture, even) and the medium bottoms fit the way I wanted them to. The small bottoms fit fine, but I was really looking for the “v” shape the the mediums created, not quite a high-waist fit, but just a higher cut on the hips to help create that tiny waist illusion. (If anyone wants a medium top in this or a small bottom…holla at me. They’re sitting unworn in their packages!) Full disclosure, this scarf lasted 5 minutes in my hair before I got sick of it blowing into my beer.

If you’re looking to buy a swimsuit on Amazon and have any questions, let me know! I’m happy to help comb through reviews or give a second opinion! XX.

Under The Leopard Print

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Two weekends ago, we made a super quick trip to Richmond — I’m talking 24 hours total — to meet with my younger brother Alex and talk wedding planning. Alex is going to be the officiant at our wedding, so we set up shop at a brewery and planned out our ceremony. The scene was pretty funny, we literally had notebooks and paperwork strewn out over an entire picnic table while people were chugging beers around us, but it was definitely a productive meeting!

We also got to squeeze in time with one of my Maids of Honor (I’m lucky enough to have two!) and her new beau and meet the owner of one of my new favorite boutiques, Mod&Soul. Yes, Mod&Soul is where those epic orange flares are from. I picked up some items for our wedding, including this cute leopard print dress, which I’m also wearing to a pre-wedding dinner with family that’s coming in from Canada and Charlottesville.

I absolutely LOVE meeting owners of boutiques and small businesses. I think it’s so fascinating to hear the story behind their businesses and I feel a deeper connection to stores that I already love. You can check out some of my favorite woman-owned and small boutiques in this post!

Now, why you’re really here — what am I wearing under this cute dress? While the V doesn’t look super deep in these pictures, it’s deep enough that you can’t wear a normal bra without it showing, so I opted for my trusty pasties from Amazon. While a lot of girls like the paper-y flower cut ones, these are actually reusable and are silicone, which eliminates any chance of them showing through your shirt. Plus these are a heck of a lot easier to put on. I just bought them for my bridesmaids to wear under their dresses for the wedding!

The other thing I wanted to share is truly revolutionary — Spanx thongs. I’ve never worn shapewear before, but I wanted a little something to look and feel my best on the wedding day, so I took one of their thong panties for a spin and they are awesome. They’re essentially high-waisted undies with a little bit of compression around your lower stomach and I love wearing them under dresses that hug that area when I walk. They definitely aren’t as powerful as true Spanx, but they’re a nice alternative when you just want to feel a little streamlined!

Shop My Look 

Dress | Mod&Soul

Boots | Steve Madden

($45 here if you can wear an 8.5 or a 10, extremely similar here if you’re another size)

Clutch | South Moon Under (Similar)

VICI — What It’s All About

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If you have an Instagram account and engage with fashion related content, chances are you’ve been served an ad from @vicidolls. I’ve purchased a few things from the site, including the sweater pictured above, this dress, and this romper, and I get a lot of questions about it, so I figured I’d dedicate a blog post to it! Read on for five things you need to know about shopping at VICI. (I have no clue if the real name is VICI, Vici Dolls, or Vici Collection, TBH. All I know is the have a brick-and-mortar store in Cali, which I took as a sign that they have quality products!)

  1. They now offer free returns, but they only offer store credit. Old Forever 21 policy, anyone? VICI used to charge you postage for your returns, so at least this new policy is a step up, but you won’t be getting refunds. The good news is they have a plethora of great items, so it’s not hard to find something else to use the credit on.
  2. The quality varies. While I’ve had luck with the items I’ve linked above, I received one blouse that wasn’t up to snuff and my friend got a dress once that was literally mutilated. Thankfully, she was able to get a full refund after sending them multiple pictures of how messed up it was, so I think it was a rare occasion. This leads me to my next point…
  3. There are plenty of girls wearing the brand on IG. As you know, my favorite tip for shopping at new online retailers is to head to the brand’s Instagram account adn check out the tagged setcion. There, you’ll be able to see what real girls are wearing and it’s an easy way to gauge what the item looks like IRL.
  4. They constantly offer 20% discount codes. When you sign up for VICI emails, you get a new shopper code, and they frequently will send you promo codes for 20% off. I’ve never not been able to find a coupon when shopping on the site!
  5.  They are constantly getting new product in and restocking fan favorites. I usually hate promotional emails, but I always look forward to opening up the eblasts from VICI. Since the retailer stocks so much product, the emails are actually give you a nice snapshot of items so you know what to look for when you do decide to shop on the site!

Shop My Look

Sweater | VICI (sold out, of course.) Similar linked here

Jeans | TopShop 

Booties | Vestique (similar)

Jacket | DokoToo

PS — it is HARD to shoot in the snow. My hair was literally soaking wet by the time we’d finished shooting these pics and we were only outside for like seven minutes!

Amazon Finds Round 3

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I really should title this “Random Shit I’ve Recently Bought From Amazon”, but that seemed a little too ratchet. When I asked you guys if you wanted to see more of these Amazon purchase roundups, I was pleasantly surprised how many of you responded with yes!

If you missed my other Amazon blog posts, you can view the first one here and the second here. Since I shop on Amazon pretttty regularly (it’s not so bad that it’s once a week, but it’s not that far off), I’m aiming to write one of these on a bi-monthly basis, possibly even monthly. Read on for my latest finds!

Shop My Look

Sweater | Amazon

Jeans | TopShop

Boots | LuLu’s (similar)

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Off The Shoulder Sweater | For a festive but comfortable Christmas Day outfit, I snagged this tassel sweater. The description says it’s cropped (and it sure looks like it is in this screenshot), but it’s definitely not. I haven’t washed this yet so I’m not sure how the tassels will do, but since my distressed sweater did okay, I think this one will be too! I’m wearing a small.

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Tie Front Top | I love this versatile thermal top! Clearly, I’m wearing it for lounging here (it was part of my book roundup post!), but you can wear it off the shoulder and tied up either short or long with jeans and leggings. I’m wearing a small.

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Steve Madden OTK Boots | I bought these boots for my Bachelorette party and have been wearing them nonstop ever since. They’re a great price for good quality and someone even mistook them for Stuart Weitzman boots! I got a size 7 and they are true to size.

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Distressed Sweater | You’ve seen this trend of sweater all over IG this season, but I couldn’t bring myself to buy a ripped sweater for $60. This sweater is a whopping $12.19, but you do pay for lower quality with such low price point. I’ve washed it three times and it’s still standing though! Wearing a small and it’s a little big, size down.

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Slip On Sneakers | I’d been eyeing the Steve Madden slip on sneaks for about a year before I finally bit the bullet and bought this knock off pair on Black Friday. When I got them, they were on sale for $22, but $35 isn’t bad! They’re super comfy and I love pairing them with my Spanx leggings. I did get a nasty blister on the back of my ankle the first time I wore them (to be fair, I walked two miles in them), but haven’t had a problem since. I wear them about two times a week! I also got a 7 in these and they are true to size.

One Sweater |Two Ways

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At an event a few weeks ago, I was chatting with some fellow bloggers and we got to the topic of re-wearing and repurposing pieces instead of constantly buying new things. During this conversation, Jenn Rogg said something along the lines of liking to do blog posts using pieces she’s already featured because her blog wasn’t a shopping mall, but a place to go to find inspiration on how to mix and match items already in your closet, and it really resonated with me.

As a fashion blogger, There is a lot of pressure to consistently churn out fresh content, which pretty much translates into new looks. While I’m lucky enough to partner with brands that gift me product, having a new outfit for every event or occasion truly isn’t realistic! I try hard to keep my blog relatable and affordable, and after talking with Jenn, I realized I need to show how I re-wear my wardrobe to maintain authenticity and relate to my readers and followers more.

Realistically, I spend around $200 a month (some months less, some months more if I’m going on vacation or it’s the start of a new season) on new clothes (including workwear, athletic clothes, and “fun clothes”), mostly from Amazon, Forever21, or affordable boutiques so I get the best bang for my buck. (My last Forever 21 haul got me 3 sports bras, a chenille sweater, and a suede skirt for $68!) Of course I have my qualms with fast-fashion retailers since the quality is not what you’re getting when you invest in something designer, but since I get bored of items quickly and like to experiment with new trends, it’s cheap and cheerful for me over here!

I digress, in the spirit of trying to make sure I’m creating relatable content, I’m showing how I styled this $25, retro-inspired Forever21 sweater two totally different ways — one look for running errands around the city and one for a date night.

For some reason, this sweater reminds me of the west coast, so I channeled my inner Cali girl and paired the sweater with my trusty boyfriend jeans and western-inspired booties for a day of holiday shopping and picking up our Christmas tree.

The night before, I wore it with a faux leather skirt and OTK boots for a sushi date. If you had told me I’d be wearing a sweater for a date night two years ago I would have laughed in your face because they feel so casual to me, but I loved the way it helped tone down the high heeled boots and shorter skirt.

Let me know if you like the whole “one piece, two ways” thing!

Shop My Look 

Sweater | Forever 21 (similar)

Nearly identical, but in kids’ size if you can pull that off! 

Jeans | GAP

Booties | Vestique (similar) 

Skirt | Free People

(my skirt is from two years ago so I didn’t even know the model styled it similarly!) 

OTK Boots | Amazon

The Instagram Skirt

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The Instagram skirt: You know what I’m talking about — the piece of clothing that follows you around social media constantly until you cave and buy it. Or maybe you’re stronger than me and you don’t buy it, but you always wonder in the back of your mind if you should have and what it would have looked like IRL.

I have been scorned by the Instagram ad purchase before. The dress looked so cute in my feed and was an absolute nightmare when it arrived — I’m talking Pilgrim meets GAP Kids kind of nightmare. Of course, I couldn’t return it because it came from an Asian retailer, even though when I sent them a picture of the dress they replied back with “oh, that is bad.” LOL. I digress.

When I saw this wrap skirt pop up in an Instagram story ad, I thought it was an awesome piece but didn’t think I’d ever be able to pull it off. The second time I saw it I convinced myself that I could figure out a way to style it, and by the third time I was mentally planning to wear it to the opera the following week. I hate to say it, but social media advertising works people.

Whenever I buy something from a retailer I’ve never shopped at before, I always do my research and of course, read the site reviews, but I take it a step further and head to their Instagram page and check their tagged photos. If a retailer is credible, they’ll likely have tons of pictures of real women wearing their clothes and you can determine the quality or sizing you might need from that. I knew I had to press “add to cart’ when I saw how many women were wearing this leopard (cheetah?) skirt! I truly swear by checking the brand’s tagged photos, it hasn’t failed me yet. (I did not check the IG tags on the Pilgrim monstrosity.)

P.S. the igloo pictures are from Bourbon on Ice at The Four Seasons! It’s a super fun experience and it’s running through February! 

Shop My Look 

Skirt | Never Fully Dressed

(wearing a small, probably should have sized down to XS so that the slit showed more without sticking out my leg) 

Bodysuit | American Apparel 

Shoes | LuLu’s

Earrings | Forever 21 

Groovy, Baby

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I love Richmond, VA. Between its affordable cost of living, quaint neighborhoods, and growing food & beverage scene, it’s at the top of my list for the next move we make. In addition to its restaurant offerings, RVA is also chock-full of independent boutiques and I love going shopping in Carrytown when I go visit friends.

I love shopping at boutiques for a variety of reasons — they’re usually small, woman-owned businesses (an instant gold star in my book) and I love that each piece was hand-selected by someone whose heart and soul has been poured into the shop. Because boutique pieces are so carefully curated, I love knowing that there aren’t hundreds of the same item easily accessible and it makes the pieces I pick up feel extra special. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mass fast fashion retailers, but it just feels good to support smaller stores.

I’d been following Mod&Soul for awhile so I jumped at the chance to collaborate with them when they reached out. I instantly added these orange flares to my cart and since Richmond is so close, had them within just a few days. I’d been wanting to try the flares trend for awhile, but just hadn’t bit the bullet, so I’m so glad I did! I think this outfit is SO fun, and I can’t wait to style these pants with a black bodysuit and even possibly a crop top. The high waist and a cropped top is key so that your legs look longer and help accentuate your waist with so much volume on the bottom.

These pants are a litttle big on me, but I still love them. I’m wearing a size Small for reference, and am hoping a little time in the dryer will shrink them. I’m about 5’4.5″ on a good day and I’m wearing 4 inch heels in these pictures, so these are probably best for a taller gal. They do come in a size XS too!

Shop My Look

Pants | Mod&Soul

Turtleneck Crop Top | Vestique (similar)

Booties | LuLu*s (similar)

Jacket | Thrifted, but it’s Forever21 (similar)

Boutique Black Friday Sales

Shop My Look

Dress | Ivy Rowe (different pattern)

Boots | Steve Madden

Earrings | Red Dress Boutique

This may come as a shock, but I’ve never been a big Black Friday shopping person. One year in high school I stood in line with my friend, waiting for Target to open so we could get a highly coveted hot pink digital camera, and last year I picked up a few items online for Gerald’s holiday gifts, but this year I did my homework!

There are a ton of big brand deals out there today, but I love supporting small and woman-owned businesses, so instead of giving you a list of the specials you already know about, here are the deals my favorite boutiques are having for Black Friday. Each features unique items that are perfect for treating yourself, a friend, or even a fashion forward relative. I’ve had wonderful experiences with each of these small businesses, and I hope you do too!

Ivy Rowe

  • Spend up to $75 get 30% off
  • Spend $75-$150 Get 40% off
  • Spend $150+ get 50% off

Discount will automatically apply at checkout.

I discovered this Charleston boutique on Instagram when I spotted the dress featured in this post on a girl I used to work with and was able to buy it directly through Instagram messaging from the store! The dress wasn’t available online, but they invoiced me for it on the spot, helped me figure out my size, and even sent me a complimentary koozie with my package. That’s what I call customer service, and you won’t find that at big retailers!

Vestique

  • 30% off site wide till Friday
  • 20% off Friday until midnight
  • All lux brands, Spanx, and Show Me Your Mumu brands will be 20% off all weekend

If you don’t have a pair of Spanx leggings, RUN to your computer and get a pair now. They are the best investment to your fall and winter wardrobe that you will ever make and they rarely go on sale. I have both the plain and moto styles and would wear them every day if I could. Vestique also features a ton of on trend items, but sometimes sizing can run a little small (think like teen sizing) so definitely be sure to double check the sizing charts on each item!

Punch!

  • 15% off all day Friday, in-store and online
  • 25-50% off in-store on Saturday when you pick a spot off their “Dalmatian wall”
  • 15% off all day Monday online

This brand new DC store is so freaking adorable and the owner and on-site team could not be nicer. The store has a TON of amazing stocking stuffers in addition to trendy and extremely affordable pieces. It’s also right on 14th Street so you don’t have to schlep to Georgetown with all of the other holiday shoppers! Oh, and there’s champagne on tap, enough said.

Ivy Wild Beauty

  • 15% off all foundations and concealers through 11/30

Ivy Wild is a new, all natural skincare and makeup shop in the Manhattan Laundry building and I absolutely love their products and the knowledgeable gals who run (and own!) the store. (Read all about my love for the store here.)They changed my life by showing me my Saint Cosmetics foundation and I highly recommended trying it for yourself at the discounted rate! If you’re not local, you can call up the shop and they’ll happily take orders over the phone and ship it to you.

Red Dress Boutique

  • 30% off site wide

Another boutique with southern roots, this is where I got the striped dress as an option for my bachelorette party that you all loved! The shop has a huge selection of items online, all at affordable prices, and free shipping over $50.

Blast From the Past | My New Favorite Spot for Casual Tops

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Shop My Look

Top | American Eagle (on sale for $23)

Jeans | Madewell (on sale for $70!)

Shoes | Nordstrom (on sale for $50)

The secret’s out, I’ve been shopping at my high school retailer again, and no it’s not Abercrombie — I’ve been loving American Eagle lately. I’ve always been a fan of aerie, but stopped shopping at their sister store once I went to college. After I started hitting up Pentagon City Mall, aka The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, this year, I’ve been gravitating towards the store for its super soft tees and fun printed blouses.

I work in a very casual office — ripped jeans and Converse are the norm — so I’m able to get away with wearing pretty much anything I want. American Eagle’s fabrics hold up better than my beloved fast fashion retailer brands’, and I like that not everyone in my office or on my Instagram feed is wearing the same pieces I’ve bought from there! AE’s tops are perfect for work too because they come in fun patterns with interesting details, like the smocked detailing and square neckline on my top in this post, but they aren’t revealing.

I’ve been living in a camo t-shirt I got it this summer, pictured in green below, and even got a camo tee in a long sleeve thermal version. 

I also picked up this black floral print blouse at the start of fall and a navy printed, boho-y blouse, similar to the one below. They’re super easy to wear and look great paired with jeans without any extra styling, perfect for pulling together an outfit when I’m running out the door to work.

The retailer has tons of flash sales, all of these blouses are under $30 and if you choose to shop online you can order items from both aerie and AE in one fell swoop. Now that I’ve rediscovered my high school retailer, I don’t think I’ll be stopping shopping there any time soon.